Category: Spine Surgery | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: September 22, 2015
Medical tourism for certain surgical procedures has become rather popular, but it comes with its own risks. In this article, we are going to talk about medical tourism – in other words, travelling to another country in order to undergo a surgical procedure. We will discuss the pros and cons of medical tourism, and explain whether or not it’s a good idea when it comes to spine surgery.
What is Medical Tourism?
Medical tourism is the act of travelling to another country for medical treatment. When medical tourism first became popular, it was used primarily by patients in under-developed countries who couldn’t find sufficient treatment without travelling abroad. In recent years, many patients from first world countries (including the United States) have traveled to third-world countries for treatment to save on cost.
Pros & Cons of Medical Tourism
There are several pros and cons to medical tourism. Here are some of the pros:
- It can be significantly cheaper than treatment in the US, even including travel costs.
- There is typically less paperwork required. Most medical tourism facilities simply require cash up front for the procedure.
On the flip side, here are a few negative aspects of medical tourism:
- The quality of medical tourism facilities can vary greatly.
- Most medical tourism facilities do not offer liability, which means the patient carries all the risk inherent in the surgery.
- Having to travel a long way home after a major surgery is generally not recommended.
- Complications that arise after surgery will need to be treated back home after the procedure, which can raise costs.
Travelling Out of the Country for Spine Surgery
So should you travel out of the country to have your spine surgery? The decision is ultimately up to the patient, but the risks tend to outweigh the benefits. Sure, having your surgery abroad may save you money in the short term, but you are taking on a lot more risk than you would having the surgery in your home country, and your health might suffer for it.